So, the other night as we were sitting around the dinner table, Katrina (our 8 year old) pipes up with the age-old question, "Why do people get married?"
I, looked at her and said, "That's a good question." Turning to my husband, I asked, "Why DID we get married? I forgot!"
Ok - so I was kidding. REALLY!!
Eric chose that time to be the romantic making me look bad. "Because people fall in love!!"
We told the kids that when two people meet and become best friends and can't imagine life without each other, they get married. I realize this is an overly-simplified explanation, but she's eight.
She asked when people are considered engaged and as I was explaining about when the man proposes, Eric got down on one knee proposed - in a overly-dramatic, comical way. Of course, I answered in kind. The idea that our kids have that we're nuts was basically confirmed.
Anyway, while most girls are dreaming of their wedding and the dress, etc., Katrina asks, "Do you have to have a wedding? Then you have to deal with all those people."
Obviously, this is our less sociable child. She's the same one who looks like she's about to crawl under that table every year when the family sings "Happy Birthday" to her.
I don't know where the inspiration came from (I'm pretty sure it was God-given), but I was even fairly impressed with my answer. "Well, after you got saved, you were baptized, right? Couldn't you still be a Christian without being baptized? Of course. But, getting baptized tells everyone around you that you are now a child of God and that you want to serve Him and obey Him the rest of your life. When everyone knows that, you are more accountable for your actions and how you live your Christian life. The same thing goes for a wedding ceremony. It's a way to tell everyone that you love this person and you will only belong to him and love him for the rest of your life." Not bad, eh?
Then, our 8-year old, saved, lifetime church-goer, homeschooled, no TV child asks: "Can you live with the person for a while before you get married just to make sure he's the right one?"
Did I mention that she's also our very logical child?
Without going into the whole fornication aspect, I was able to logically explain that the courtship process will enable a person to observe the prospective spouse in many different situations in which you will find out their true character. Sure, there are issues once you become married and start living in the same house that may have to be worked out; such as, your husband leaving his dirty laundry on the floor instead of putting it in the basket. But, those things can be worked out - even if it's the wife figuring out that it's not worth getting upset about the laundry, picking it up, and just being thankful for an over-all great guy.
I love these unpredictable conversations around the table. Something tells me they'll get even more interesting as the kids get older.
A side benefit - my husband put his dirty laundry in the basket the next day. :)